I Want To See Your Closet

CommeSkirt“I want to see your closet,” stated a client of mine as we were wrapping up her makeup application/lesson.  The way she said it led me to believe this was not a question but a matter-of-fact statement of what would be happening next.  You see, this client is a lawyer, and I may not know much about the practice of law, but I know enough about lawyers to know you do not waste a single moment of your life arguing with one.  “Okay!” I quickly responded, rather surprised.  No one has ever asked to see my closet.  Perhaps others have thought of it and just didn’t have the guts to ask?  Honestly, I was looking forward to showing it off, and I was keeping my fingers crossed I had not left it in a wrecked state.

When it comes to my closet, I try to practice what I preach.  For starters, I keep it organized by category and then color: blouses, knits, trousers, jeans, dresses, etc.  I also use clear shoe boxes on the top shelf for my off-season shoes.  The shoes in the current rotation are either kept on a shoe shelf on the floor of my closet or in a hanging shoe organizer for quick and easy access.  I own less than 40 pairs of shoes and boots.  Taking both summer and winter into account, that’s about 20 pairs I must wear per season, very doable.  I wear and love every pair I own.  I hang my boots as you’ll see in the photo below.  Most of my handbags are stored in a cloth dust cover, and many pieces of my jewelry are stored in a hanging pocket organizer so I can see what I have.  If you don’t see it, you won’t use it.  Scarves are on ringed hangers, and my pants and skirts are hung on tiered hangers to save space.

I like to think my wardrobe is well-purged, though I admit I have more clothes than a girl needs. What can I say?  I love to shop!  However, I am constantly casting a critical eye on my wardrobe, including shoes, bags and jewelry.  I try to stick to the “one item in, one item out” rule.  Let’s be honest, if you are shopping wisely and only purchasing items that are a step up from what you already have, the odds of wearing a piece you once dearly loved decrease as you bring in new items that outshine it.

Before I took my client to my closet, I stopped in the hallway so she could see my jackets and overcoats.  I can’t explain why I love coats and jackets so much, especially since I live in Dallas where it is cold maybe 4 weeks out of the year.  Alas, I just love a great coat.  My client ooo’d over a wool overcoat of navy, black and metallic threads, a favorite of mine, as well.  I keep many of my coats zipped in a fabric cover so it can breathe but dust doesn’t get on them.

The tour of my closet started badly as I had to apologize for the unmade bed, which honestly does not happen often.  Thankfully, my client was forgiving and said her mother told her unmade beds were a sign of healthy priorities (or something like that).  Then I opened my closet and started the tutorial of how it is organized, and I pointed out the tools I use to keep it looking orderly.  I especially love the black flocked hangers.  Absolutely nothing falls off them.  What a difference it made to get every piece on the same hanger.  My closet looked like a boutique!

I wasn’t sure what my client thought.  I wondered what anyone would think of my wardrobe upon seeing it.  Is my wardrobe too large, too boring, containing too many neutrals (I am notorious for telling others to wear color)?  I think she liked it.  She said it was not as many clothes as she thought and she thanked me for letting her view it (as if I had a choice).

I felt relieved.  Since I assess wardrobes for a living, I now know on a small scale how it feels to have someone come into my closet.  Tell me how you feel about your closet.  Is it a happy place where you keep things you love or do you have some downers and bullies in there?  Get to work!  Now is the time to start thinking about switching your wardrobe from spring to fall.  Be brutally honest about your spring/summer clothes before packing them away.  If you didn’t wear an item this season, do you think you’ll wear it next year?  Perhaps not…

If you need help, give me a call.  I love clearing the clutter for my clients!

Here is your photo tour of my closetIMG_2638:

DustBagsShoeBoxeshangersShoesBoots

I Can See Clearly Now

Again, on my quest to practice what I preach this year, I am getting more organized in my closet.  I’ve always been fairly organized, implementing the slimline hangers I have previously touted on this blog, a hanging pocket jewelry organizer that allows me to see my accessories, available at Container Store, etc.  However, there is always room for improvement.  I asked a friend of mine, who is a professional organizer, to make a few suggestions.  How thankful I am I did!  She looked at the shoes I had on the upper shelf of my closet in their original boxes, and she said I should replace them with clear shoe boxes.  Huh, the thought had never occurred to me.  I have a shoe shelf on the floor of my closet for the shoes I wear most often in the current season, and I also have a hanging shoe rack for the off-season shoes, but my “special” shoes remained in their original boxes until now.

I cannot tell you how wonderful my shoes look in the clear shoe boxes from the Container Store.  For my shoes that have a super high heel and platform, I bought the men’s shoe boxes, which are a perfect fit.  I was so excited about implementing the change, I failed to take before pictures, so the after pictures would not pack a punch.  HOWEVER, I had the foresight to take before and after photos of my mom’s shoes, whose shoe shelf recently got a makeover compliments of her son Marsh Buice and his wife Nesha as a birthday gift.  See the before and after photos below.  Can you believe the difference one small change makes?  Give it a go!  You’ll be glad you did.

Mom’s Shoes Before

Mom’s Shoes After

Get Organized

According to the National Association of Professional Organizers, January is National Get Organized (GO) Month.  Is organizing your home, your office or any other space where you spend a lot of time on your New Year’s Resolution list?  If so, let me offer a few tips for organizing your closet, which I consider one of the most important rooms of your house (it is, after all, the place where your ‘look’ comes together each day).

First, purge.  Yes, you knew this was coming.  Of course before you start organizing your closet, you must first get rid of the things you are not wearing, as well as toss the things that no longer fit and/or flatter you.  Do you remember my F.L.R.?  Ask yourself these three questions when you come to a piece you are not sure whether to keep or to toss: (1) Does it flatter me?, (2) Do I love it? and (3) Does it represent me?  If you can’t say yes to all three questions, toss it and move on.  Let someone else get some use out of it.

Second, streamline your hangers.  Yes, it is a small investment to change every hanger in your closet, but it is worth it.  I adore the Real Simple Slimline Hangers from Bed Bath & Beyond.  They are $29.99 for a pack of 50. But don’t take my word for it.  Look at the before and after in a client’s closet:

Can you believe it?  Her closet looks like a boutique with just a simple change of hangers.

Third, get your accessories out of their boxes and pouches.  I always say, if you can’t see it, you won’t use it.  The Container Store makes these wonderful hanging pocket organizers that are perfect for necklaces, bracelets and earrings.  Of course, being the jewelry addict that I am, I have the large size, as shown here:

Fourth, do this with the rest of your “stuff.”  Your shoes need to go on a shelf or in a hanging shoe organizer, your scarves need to go on a special hanger of their own like this one from The Container Store, your belts need their own hanger, as well, etc.

Finally, organize things in a way that makes sense to you.  Most people find it easiest to group their pants, skirts, tops, etc. and then organize each group by color. 

Bottom line, you need to see everything that you have in one place so you can assemble interesting, complete outfits each day.

If all of this is a little overwhelming, never fear, Bethany is here!  I am here to help.  There’s no better treat for yourself at the start of the new year than to get your closet in tip top shape.  Give me a call.  I would love to help you feel more organized.  Most of all, I want you to love your wardrobe and your closet.